14 Other NFL Teams Hastily Remove Spy Cameras From Sidelines
NEW YORK--In the wake of the Patriots spy scandal and the resulting sanctions handed down by the commissioner’s office, 14 other NFL teams hastily removed their own spy cameras from the sidelines this weekend.
“Well so much for that idea,” said one coach, who asked not to be identified. “Our ‘video assistant’ is gone from the sidelines. Thanks for ruining it, Belichick! Here’s a tip: You put the guy off in the background and give him a fedora with a tiny camera installed in the front of it, then you film to your heart’s content. You don’t just plop him out in the open with a giant camera pointed at the defensive coordinator! It’s illegal, and it’s too obvious. So now we’re stuck getting signals the old fashioned way: by crawling through the air ducts and stealing the playbook.”
Another coach said the elimination of sidelines spy cameras will present a huge challenge for teams who have been relying on them for years.
“You’re going to see a bit of an adjustment period while teams deal with not having spy cameras,” said the coach. “Obviously there are different ways to steal signs, but videotaping it is the easiest. It’s been going on forever.
That’s why I always laugh when people say the Patriots put a ‘modern twist’ on it. Hello? It’s a video camera. When was the last time video taping was considered high tech? 1958? It’s actually kind of antiquated at this point. I heard [the Patriots] are now using high tech spy planes to do their work. Those things have missiles on them, too.”
The real victims in this case, said the coach, are the now jobless young people who have gone from camera assistants to “cheaters” virtually overnight.
“We had a recent college grad named Will who was making next to nothing and just doing this because he loved this team,” said a scout from a prominent NFC East team. “And now we’ve had to let him go. It’s not like we had another job for him to do. His job was to steal signs. And now his job is to be unemployed. You know who I blame for this? Belichick and Eric Mangini. Enough with the feud, ladies. This is the NFL. If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying…or winning.”
Until the league’s coaches devises newer, more discreet ways of stealing signals, fans should expect to see some clumsy sequences during games, the scout said.
“It’s going to be a little ugly for a while. I expect to see a lot of penalties for too many men on the field, because coaches won’t even be able to figure out which personnel to put out there. Also, you might see a few more injuries as players run around in circles banging into each other as a result of the confusion.”
So is there any upside at all to the Patriots spying scandal? Yes, says one head coach.
“The only real upside to this whole thing is that you get to go on TV and talk about how you would never do such a thing,” said the coach, who asked not to be identified. “For instance, when I was asked about it, I said ‘This is a dark day for football. You have to wonder now if all those Super Bowls they won are tainted.’ Then I shook my head solemnly and walked away. Now I’m considered one of the good guys. I just hope I don't get caught putting on a helmet and pads and infiltrating my opponents’ practices. That might be considered hypocritical.”